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2014 Updates to the NIOSH hazardous drug list.

Connor-TH; MacKenzie-BA
Pharm Purch Prod 2014 Nov; 11(11):90,92,96
Due to concerns about exposure of health care workers to hazardous drugs, The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) convened a Hazardous Drug Working Group in 2000 in Washington, DC. The primary output of the group, which disbanded in 2007, was the 2004 publication of the NIOSH Alert: Preventing Occupational Exposures to Antineoplastic and Other Hazardous Drugs in Healthcare Settings. This alert included a definition of hazardous drugs that was modified from a definition proposed by the American Society of Hospital Pharmacists (currently the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists). The 2004 alert included a sample, non-all-inclusive list of 136 drugs that should be handled as hazardous. It comprised lists being used at that time by four institutions: The National Institutes of Health, Johns Hopkins University, University of Michigan, and Northside Hospital in Atlanta. It also included a list generated by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA). At the time the 2004 Alert was published, NIOSH acknowledged that it would update the hazardous drug list as needed. After deciding on an approach and a mechanism to perform these updates, NIOSH reviewed all new drugs approved by the FDA and all new warnings on existing drugs from 2004 to 2007, to determine whether they qualified as hazardous under the NIOSH definition. This resulted in the official update that was published in 2010, which contained 31 additions to the original list. The list was updated a second time in 2012 with 33 additions and 15 removals. The Latest Update: The process of updating the hazardous drug list includes a number of steps and takes about two years to complete; therefore, the list is about two to three years out of date when it is published. Currently, the expert review panel is made up of at least 10 members representing pharmacy and nursing organizations (ASHP, Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Association, Oncology Nursing Society, American Nurses Association), government (Food and Drug Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs, Occupational Safety and Health Administration), industry (Biological Industry Organization, drug manufacturers), and academia.
Health-care-personnel; Medical-personnel; Nurses; Pharmacists; Pharmacy-workers; Physicians; Drugs; Drug-therapy; Pharmaceuticals; Medicinal-chemicals; Medical-treatment
Publication Date
Document Type
Journal Article
Fiscal Year
Issue of Publication
NIOSH Division
Priority Area
Healthcare and Social Assistance
Source Name
Pharmacy Purchasing & Products
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division